PAUL GERVAIS (1816-1879), French palaeontologist, was born on the 26th of September 1816 at Paris, where he obtained the diplomas of doctor of science and of medicine, and in 1835 he began palaeontological research as assistant in the laboratory of comparative anatomy at the Museum of Natural History.
- Underlying Biological Principles As They Appear To The Palaeontologist It follows from the above brief summary that palaeontology affords a distinct and highly suggestive field of purely biological research; that is, of the causes of evolution underlying the observable modes which we have been describing.
- As historian the palaeontologist always has before him as one of his most fascinating problems phylogeny, or the restoration of the great tree of animal descent.
The public buildings include the town hall, a fine and commodious house on the site of the old tolbooth; the Falconer museum, containing among other exhibits several valuable fossils, and named after Dr Hugh Falconer (1808-1865), the distinguished palaeontologist and botanist, a native of the town; the mechanics' institute; the agricultural and market hall; Leanchoil hospital and Anderson's Institution for poor boys.
This line of hypothesis and demonstration is typical of the palaeogeographic methods generally - namely, that vertebrate palaeontologists, impressed by the sudden appearance of extinct forms of continental life, demand land connexion or migration tracts from common centres of origin and dispersal, while the invertebrate palaeontologist alone is able to restore ancient coast-lines and determine the extent and width of these tracts.